I've been getting a lot of people asking why they should either sign up on Artfire or switch from Etsy to Artfire. Instead of grabbing dribs and drabs between my blog posts and messages to individuals, I figure I'll combine it all here into one big pile of awesomeness!
So let's start with the blog I wrote on August 7, 2009 entitled Inexpensive Promo for Artfire Sellers (and how to become one of the Elite). It gives information on an awesome promo the amazing Jamie Sabot of She's Batty Designs set up for Artfire artisans. The blog also goes on with a little info on why Artfire is so amazing.
Next, I had written a list to a friend about why I love Artfire. Here's the message in its entirety:
I had Etsy for a year and a half and didn't make one sale. I made a sale on Artfire the first week I was signed up. That made me happy. ;) I also had more product views in one month than I had on Etsy in a year and a half.
I'm not sure what updates Etsy has made as I haven't used it in quite some time (I've actually closed it since then), but here's some things I like about Artfire:
* Artfire lets you link to your Etsy (I know that Etsy won't let you link to any other shop), as well as your Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Flickr, IndiePublic, Blogger, etc. The links show up right on your page so that people can check them out.
* You have Studio Stats which tell you which URL your product views are coming from, as well as the number of Item Views and Studio Views.
* There is a Rapid Cart which you can post on blogs and websites which allows a customer to check out right on your site without having to visit ArtFire or make an account. Artfire now has it's own Facebook app (Facebook Kiosk) where people can buy your art right from your Facebook page!
* Adding a Product is easy bc it's one page, with the option to list the product in Google Shopping search. I've received a lot of page views that way. You can also register your shop with Google Analytics which allows you to see how many people visited your shop, where they viewed from (down to City! I love looking at where people are in the world who've seen my stuff!), etc. etc.
* There is an Item of the Hour feature which randomly picks a product and it is showcased on the homepage. And I've actually been featured! Not like the notorious Etsy Treasuries where the same people are featured again and again!
* There are loads of written and video guides on marketing, photography, RSS, etc. to help promote your shop.
* You can customize your shop. And add HTML and widgets. So imagine: custome colors to match your banner, Flickr widget, blog feed, and anything else you can think up!
* The big shots of Artfire actually blog, Twitter and Plurk! Holy cow! You can talk to them! What a novel idea!
* And of course they have all the "interaction" stuff: chat, guilds, etc.
I currently have a verified account which gives you a little more, like more photo uploads and unlimited listings. Right now the verified account is $12 (usually $20). You can also set up a free account and see how you like it. I like paying a monthly fee better...this way I don't really have to think about it. It comes out of my bank account and I don't have to remember to pay the bill.
I know some of these thing are only available with a paid membership, but I definitely think it's worth it. And you should trust me because I'm cheap. My business is just starting out and I always look for the best value for my money. Signing up for Artfire was one of the best business moves I've made. And one of the best moves I've ever made as an Artist. Everyone on Artfire is dedicated to helping you grow as an artist and as a business. You have questions? You'll get answers...and not in a snarky "Ew, look-at-the-newbie" kind of way!
Well, hope this was helpful. I hope it didn't come out like an infomercial, because it's not. I believe that if you come across something good, you should share it with others.